Animal-assisted therapy with dolphins in eating disorders

Roman Schenk, Rainer Schandry, Sabine Schenk
This pilot study examined a dolphin assisted therapy for patients with eating disorder (EDs). 25 patients received a multimodal treatment consisting of dolphin interaction in combination with psycho education, cognitive behavioral therapy, nutritional education and craniosacral therapy. These patients were compared to a control group of 7 patients with standard behavioral therapy program. Three months after the treatment only the patients in the dolphin group showed a stable decrease in their
more » ... erall psycho-social performance as measured by the SCL90-R while both groups had significant improvement of eating behavior as assessed by the EDI-2. These results are the first to show that dolphin-assisted therapy is an effective tool in the treatment of EDs and is of special use in improving psycho-social variables like depression and somatization. Further research is necessary to further observe the long-term outcome of this therapy approach on patients with EDs.
doi:10.5282/ubm/epub.9507 fatcat:4lykprbjvragrf6xf7q2xnrhra